More than all that...Beck has one of the best websites I've seen, and not just for a musician.
He has a series of "mixtapes" called Planned Obsolescence. I love mixtapes/mixcds/mixes in general and these ones are phenomenal! The first few have been removed but No. 6 and 7 are still great. No. 7 is the "Summer Tapes" and features Al Green, Marc Bolan and T-Rex, Girl Talk, like 8 covers of Summertime Blues, Jimi Hendrix, Animal Collective...basically any song that has "summer" in it is probably on this. 20 minutes of sweet, sweet summer jams!
But back to the reason I started this post...
Beck has started something new...something fantastic...something totally my cup of tea...something I'd like to see more of...
Interviews with "celebrities," so far Will Ferrell and Tom Waits, that aren't about their movies or their career or anything to do with why they're famous really. It's just random questions in more of a conversation format and I really fucking love it. There's not much more to say since it's really self explanatory but here's a couple bits for an example...if you really need one...
Beck Hansen: I was born in the McArthur park area.
Tom Waits: You remember when they drained McArthur Park, the lake?
BH: I do, yeah...
TW: They found unbelievable things: Cars, human bones, weaponry.
BH: They should have done an exhibit.
TW: I don't know why they didn't. I thought that's why they drained it.
BH: I'd always heard that when they drained the Echo Park Lake they found an amateur submarine.
TW: Oh, my God.
BH: I don't know if that was lore.
TW: You mean a homemade submarine?
BH: Yeah, I think it was older too, from the early days of "home submarine building." I don't know if that subculture still exists?
TW: That was the East Kids.
Beck Hansen: And you have to watch out for that kind of security because they’re even more committed to their job than any border patrol.
Will Ferrell: Anyone! You put a yellow jacket on a part time police officer, look out! They’re ready to go. But here’s the irony, we used to sneak in and then I found myself years later during college being one of those yellow jacketed security people.
BH: Really? And did you feel a....
WF: I was not very effective.
BH: Did you feel empowered?
WF: I did a little bit because you just had the jacket and a little flashlight. They had no idea that I was a previous renegade. And I worked a Bon Jovi concert and my job was to keep like the center aisle of the orchestra clear of people just sitting or hanging out and it was pretty easy, you’d just flash your light and they’d get back in the row, until...Who’s the guitarist of Bon Jovi?
BH: Uh, Richie Sambora.
WF: Richie Sambora on that song Wanted Dead or Alive, he flew out on his guitar solo on a wire and everyone just ran into the center of my aisle. I was like “Back in your seats! Back in your...” and it was like 1,000 people and I just realized that I couldn’t do anything. So I just let 'em do that.
BH: Yeah, the flashlight was...
WF: The flashlight was NOT EFFECTIVE at that point, yeah, when they’re trying to reach for Sambora as he flies above them.
BH: (laughing) Some Peter Pan maneuver...
WF: (laughing) Even I got wrapped up in it! I didn’t realize it was going to happen, but...
BH: But it stirred something.
WF: It did!
BH: See that’s the thing when you’re playing a show. As a performer, if you connect with the security guards, you know you’re playing the show of your life, cause it’s very difficult to move the security guards.
WF: Yeah, they cut through that night. Bon Jovi cut through to me.
BH: And was that mid-80’s Bon Jovi period?
WF: That would have been late '80s.
Bonus: check out Beck's "Record Club" for musicians, artists, actors and friends covering the Velvet Underground and Nico.